Ang pangalan ng dula ay BUHAY NAMIN ni Luwalhati Bautista, at produksyon ng Likhaan. Likhaan  is an NGO concerned with women’s health. Likhaan runs a project called “Mothers” in a slum community of Letre. This project supports a health clinic for women offering basic health checks and a full range of reproductive services; training programs for community health workers; and a women’s health association that sponsors educational meetings and events. kakatapos ko lang basahin (ulit) ang “my movie business“. ito ang memoir (memoyr? memwah, gago!) ni boss idol john irving. ang libro ay tungkol sa kanyang 14 year odyssey ng pag sasapelikula ng “cider house rules“. magandang dalhin ito sa eroplano. it’s short and you’ll probably finish it on a long haul flight from manila to aLA-eh with enough time for a movie or two.

to appreciate this book, you need to read the novel and watch the movie (in that order) because a lot of what the memoir talks about, revolves around how the screenplay and the eventual movie was created. this is an insiders account on the art of making movies, or to be exact, the art of how to make a movie out of a book. kung interesado ka sa mga nobela at mga pelikula, this book is for you. if you’re a budding film maker (like tanyaloca), this is a helpful book.

ang pinaka issue ng novel, film at memoir ay tungkol sa abortion. in particular about the history, morality, politics and controversies surrounding abortion related issues in the united states. habang binabasa ko nga ang libro, iniisip ko how this issue relates to the philippines.

tamang tama naman ang email sa akin ni idol ibet, ang kaibigan namin ni jet na nagtatrabaho sa africa. she is in manila on vacation at nabanggit niya na nanood siya ng dula na “BUHAY NAMIN” ni luwalhati bautista. ito’y tungkol sa abortion sa pilipinas. she started giving out figures that surprised me. for example… are you ready for this? “400,000 abortions are estimated to occur each year in the philippines”. there’s even a report that says “one out of four pinay women have had abortions secretly”. pakingsheet! at dahil illegal ang abortion sa bayang magiliw, most women resort to quack doctors o kaya umiinom ng pampalaglag. which is why “some 80,000 women per year are estimated to be treated in hospitals in the philippines for postabortion complications of induced abortion“. ilan sa kanila ang namamatay? i can only wonder.

alam ko, emotional ang issue na ito and it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of thing. sa pilipinas, taboo pa rin ang usapan tungkol sa abortion. let’s test our stand on this issue by doing a couple of thought experiments…

imagine you are a single woman, senior year in college, job offers left and right kahit di pa tapos ng pag-aaral. you’re on your way towards a successful career. then one day, you find out na buntis ka dahil sa isang gabi ng kalibugan. anong gagawin mo?

imagine you are a dirt poor woman living in a far off rural area, married to a farmer. you already have six children you can barely feed. umuwi ang asawa mo one night, lasing na at tigas titi pa. pinilit ka niyang makipag sex at nabuntis ka. anong gagawin mo?

like i said, this issue is very complicated. but, AT THE END OF THE DAY (aargh! tanginang dreaded catchphrase na yan, tama na!) it will still be the woman who should must decide what she wants to do with her body. ako alam ko, kung pinanganak akong babae, di ako papayag na didigtahan ako ng society, ng simbahan o ng sino man kung anong gusto kong gawin sa buhay ko.

FOR FURTHER READING: singapore’s progressive abortion laws

24 thoughts on “MY MOVIE BUSINESS

  1. Logically, most of these are unwanted pregnancies, and most of these would be the result of teen-age pregnancies. There is a great social stigma when teen-age girls find themselves in that predicament and more often than not, they are forced to deal with it alone, or with the father of the child, who, more often than not, would be incapable of doing the right thing, or say, what is expected. Erroneously, they know that the easiest way for them is to bail out, often unaware of what the consequences might be if they don’t seek professional help for this. Besides, there is no professional help cause abortion, of course, is not allowed in the Phils.

    Education, strengthening the family, improving health delivery, information dissemination, support systems by civic groups… I think these things should work hand in hand to control the situation.

  2. right on mylab. i agree with you.

    here’s the conundrum: what’s the right thing to do when a woman gets pregnant but she doesn’t want the baby? or what if she does not have the resources to take care of the baby?

    if the statistics are correct, 400000 of our women chose to have illegal abotions.

    i’m interested to know about what the typical pinay woman would do when she’s faced with this decision and she has the option to choose what to do.

  3. interesting that you should post about abortion. yesterday my officemates and i were discussing this and the main question was what we thought about it, and as women, would we do it.

    way back in high school i was firm in my conviction that i will not do it, dahil kasalanan daw ito.

    but when i got to college, sa unibersidad ng peyups, medyo nagbago na ang pag-iisip ko. nun lang kasi ako nakakita ng mga batang naglalakad sa kalye, (ala pa nun dati sa baguio) mga babaeng matatalino na naipit na lang sa bahay dahil nabuntis sila, nagpakasal, di na nagtrabaho at naging miserable.

    naisip ko, kung ako ang nasa kinalalagyan nila, hihindi pa ba ako sa abortion? eh ano papakain ko sa anak ko? pano kung di ko sya mapalaki ng tama?

    kaya naniniwala ako na desisyon talaga ng babae yan. di naman yung boyfriend/asawa ang magbubuntis. di sila ang magdadala ng bata. at lalong lalo nang hindi ang simbahan ang mahihirapan. siya lang. kaya dapat, desisyon niya.

    ang haba na nito.

  4. Wow, this topic will always cause controversy, and it’s such a touchy issue that there’s really no right or wrong answer. Therefore, I will keep my thoughts to myself. Suffice it to say that I just thank the Lord that I never had to make this choice in my life.

    BTW, Thanks, BatJay for remembering my birthday. We had a joint birthday party/baby shower at Sel’s last weekend, and this coming weekend, we’ll be in Milpitas celebrating the birthdays of other Arians in the family, Thomas (Sever’s son, 4/1), Joey (Jojo’s son, 4/4, and Tiya Liwanag (Nanay’s sister, 4/1).

  5. may mga kakilala ako na nagpalaglag ng bata. sa mga eskinita sa sampaloc, along the university belt maraming mga hilot na gumagawa ng abortion. doon sila pumunta. ang balita ko eh masakit na procedure, both physically and emotionally.

    sa labas ng simbahan ng quiapo, marami ka rin yatang mabibili na mga herbal rememdy.

    in both cases, delikado.

    ang sabi sa libro ni irving, if done correctly, it’s a simple procedure na kahit daw unggoy kayang turuan. kung gawing legal lang daw ito, a lot of women who eventually decide to have one will be saved from potential harm.

  6. Tama pareng BatJay. Mali ang abortion. Kahit anung habang debate pa ang gawin, it is simply not right to kill someone who was given a chance to live. Kadami ko napagalitan dyan, yung iba nagbabalak, yung iba naman, nasa complications na. Sexual relations are not experiments. D sya parang picnic or watching a movie type of activity. Sacred ito. Sadly, mahirap ipaliwanag kapag nalilibugan na. I guess what separates as humans from animals is that we can be responsible for our actions.

    Women should think twice about abortion. Kala nila baby lang mawawala? Pati sila in danger pag ginagawa nila yun. Solution lang talaga, abstinence! Pero mas madali ngang sabihin kesa gawin.

  7. Batjay, mahirap rin to be in a position where kaibigan ka ng gustong magpa-abort. Pakiramdam mo ay damay ka in whatever decision she will make. Pero salamat talaga dahil that in the two incidents that I was approached with this kind of problem, tinuloy nila ang bata. *Whew!*

  8. Kumusta dyan Batjay, have you seen the movie “If these Walls could Talk” starring Demi moore, Cher, kalimutan ko yung isang girl tagal na kasi e, its about abortion din dito sa tate. anyway kumusta na lang dyan and ingat.

  9. i did some research on singapore’s abortion laws and found out that they have a more progressive program… READ ON:

    “A legal abortion requires the written consent of the pregnant woman. Abortion is available on request during the first 24 weeks of gestation unless the procedure is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman. A legal abortion is restricted to citizens of Singapore, wives of Singapore citizens and women that have resided in Singapore for a minimum duration of four months. The qualifications required of physicians performing abortion at different stages of pregnancy are defined: if gestation does not exceed 16 weeks, the physician should have a minimum of 24 months’ experience in a recognized obstetrics and gynaecological unit; thereafter, additional specialist qualifications are required. A legal abortion must be performed in a government hospital or other approved institution.”

  10. noong first year high school kami, yung mga madre sa school namin pinapanood kami ng isang film, “Silent Scream” ang title. hanggang ngayon nanginginig ang laman ko pag naaalala ko yun. traumatic.

  11. yeah yeah…. maybe i should get that book. interesting! shucks.. ang dami ko nang librong binabasa. sabay sabay pa. hehehe! but yeah i shall check that out. :-p thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  12. i just thought… if there are 400,000 abortions in the philippines, per year – that’s about 1,095 abortions a day.

    question: shouldn’t we legalize abortion like what singapore does? why? so we can make the procedure safe and save the lives of these women.

  13. why have sex if you think you are not responsible enough to face the consequences it might bring?

    kung di pa ready, why have sex in the first place? or why not practice safe sex? sheesh…may condom naman sa bawat botika sa pinas…

    kung di kayang magpalaki ng bata financially, there are families who would be willing to adopt a child.

    i was approached like some of you but she didn’t keep the baby…bigat nito pero what can i do? what’s done is done…

    sorry for the violent reaction…it’s just that for me, abortion is depriving a life the right to live.

  14. Totoo, 400,000 ang namamatay na babae taun-taon sa pagpapa-abort. Di pinag uusapan kung kaya’t palihim, maaring si nanay, ate o auntie ay nagpalaglag. Bawal kung kaya’t kung sinu-sino ang mga nagsasamantala sa mga babae, pagsasamantala ang tawag sa mga gawain ng mga taong naglalaglag na gamit ay hanger, catherter at kung anu-ano pang pamamaraan na nauuwi sa kamatayan ng mga babae. AT dahil bawal at walang edukasyon at matatakbuhan ang mga kababaihan kapit sa patalim. Hilot, catheter ang pinaka madalas na ginagamit sa pagpapalaglag at ito ay mga hindi ligtas na pamamaraan ng pagpapalaglag.

    Ang siste, pag nagpalaglag ang mga babae, sasabihin ng mga lalaki, “kahihiyan KO ang nirungisan mo!” Dahil kinundisyon nga ang mga babaeng pinay na obligasyon ang pakikipagtalik na dapat gampanan ng mga asawa, kung kayat hindi dapat HUMINDI, pati sa pagpapalaglag hindi din makapagpasaya ang kababaihan. Tanong ko lang, kaninong katawan ba ang nalalaspag sa tuwing nagbubuntis? Kaninong ngipin ba ang nalalagas dahil sa kakulangan sa calcium at nagiging malnourish kung sunod-sunod ang anak? Kaninong likod at balakang ba ang sumasakit sa tuwing palaki ng palaki ang tyan? Kaninong matres ba ang numinipis sa tuwing magluluwal na bata? Sino ba ang naghahanap ng pera sa tuwing kulang sa badyet ang bahay at sinisisi pa at sinasabihan na walang kwentang nanay samantalang di talaga sapat ang iniuuwi ng ama? Hindi ba’t ang babae?

    At dahil isang malungkot na realidad na macho ang utak ng karamihang kalalakihang Pilipino dala na rin sa pagkokondisyon ng simbahan at lipunan, sino ba ang umaako at sinisisi kung di maayos ang pagpapalaki at pag-alaga sa mga anak? Di ba babae? Hanggang sa sarap sa pakikipagtalik pinagkakait sa babae, at tinatawag na puta, makati, pokpok pag inamin ng babae na nasarapan sya sa sex. Hindi ba’t ang katawan ng tao ay dinisenyo na may natural na libog? Eh bakit kapag lalaki ang maraming ka sex o laging nakikipag sex wagi at sikat siya ngunit kapag ang babae ay puta at makati??

    May panukalang batas na sinusubukan ipasa na tuwirang hinaharang ng simbahan ang HB4110 na sinesermon ng mga pari bilang isang imoral na batas daw na pumapatay, Reproductive Health Care Act. Hindi naman daw sa nakiki-alam ang simbahan sa pulitika pero pag usapin na ng moralidad kailangan silang makialam. Tanong ko lang, kapag hindi nakokontrol ang pag-aanak at napapabayaan at di mapakain ang mga bata, di ba immoral yun? Kapag mistulang hayup ang pamumuhay dahil sa kahirapan dahil di kayang bigyan ng edukasyon, matibay na bahay, gamot, di maitakbo sa ospital at di mapakain ang mga bata di ba immoral yun?

    At ang paglaslas ng badyet ng gobyerno para sa libreng contraceptives para mabigyan ng options ang mga nagtatalik upang kontrolin ang pag-aanak nang hindi na tuluyang maghirap, nilalas ang badyet para ilagay sa badyet sa militar, di ba immoral yun?

    Ilang bata ang namamatay dahil sa malnutrisyon, ilang bata ang namamatay dahil sa kahirapan ng buhay? Ilang bata ang lumalaking mangmang dahil hindi makapag-aral? Ilang bata ang nagkakasakit at di mapagamot?

    May kaibigan akong nabuntis ng pari, dinulog sa Obispo ang kaso, suporta lang ang gusto ng nanay at hirap niyang buhayin ang anak, sabi ng Obispo “di namin responsibilidad yan!” eh taong simbahan ang nakabuo ng bata! Ang hindi nila pagsagot sa responsibilidad ng paring nakabuntis di ba immoral yun?

    Ang usaping abortion ay di lamang usapin ng fetus na hindi naisilang, usapin din ito ng katawan at buhay ng nanay. Usapin din ito ng KALIDAD ng buhay ng bata, nanay, tatay at ng buong pamilya. Nang pinag-aaralan ko ang isyung ito at sa karanasan ko sa pag-oorganisa ng mga kababaihan sa kanayunan, maliwanag sa utak ko na babae ako, maliwanag din sa utak ko kung anong economic class ang pinang-galingan ko. Buo sa sarili ko ang ispiritwalidad ko.

    Tulad ng marami, nagsimula ako sa paghuhusga sa kapwa ko babae, dahil gaya ng karamihan isa din ako sa mga babae na kinundisyon kung paano “dapat” ang kilos ng babaeng Pilipina. Nanghusga din ako mula sa kampante kong buhay na kinalalagyan, madali para sa akin ang sabihing, ang dali dali namang sulusyunan di magawa.

    Nang nalaunan napagtanto ko, na sino nga ba ako para maghusga ang kaya ko lang bilang TAO ay umintindi at umunawa ng kapwa kong babae na di pinalad na umiwas sa sitwasyong sinusugal ang kanyang kinabukasan.

  15. when the workers said, referring to those who came up with the rules of the cider house: “they don’t even live here” — i got goosebumps.

    that movie really got to me. good reason to look for “my movie business.” 😉

  16. Second the motion ako sa iyo Ma’am Jet. Masyado na rin kasing mapusok ang mga kabataan ngayon. On the other hand, legalizing abortion will not help them to become responsible for their actions. In fact, baka nga mas lalo silang maging pabaya. Mamihasa na may abortion naman, kaya okey lang na gawin nila ang hindi tama. The thing is, proper guidance and correct information ang kailangan ipamahagi sa mga kabataan lalo na sa kaba-baihan. We have to be open about sex, the pleasure it brings and of course the RESPONSIBILITY that goes with it.

  17. thank you for your feedback candy, idol ibet and MissP.

    hi ate mona. if you have problems finding the book, just send me an email and i’ll try to get one for you in singapore. i got it in a booksale BTW… MPH bookstore normally bargains their old stock twice a year.

  18. my official stand on this issue? i am pro-choice. i believe it is the woman’s right to choose whether she wants to terminate or continue with her pregnancy.

    if the surveys are true – there are 400,000 filipina women each year who need help because they do not have access to what should be an easy, sanitary and safe procedure.

    for its pragmatism, i admire the program of singapore in regulating abortion.

  19. For me, there is no such thing as unwanted pregnancy. In the first place, how do you get pregnant? In those 400,000 women who committed abortion there is a huge percent which women became pregnant because of their kalibugan. They cant close their legs and now a child has to suffer from their kalibugan? We dont have to abused our choice to choose. In some cases, there are life and death situation that we can use abortion.

    When I was in highschool, my CLE teacher told us a story that gave me goosebumps:

    “There was this doctor who does abortion as a living. One day he got a news that his mother got a very rare cancer. He was crushed and sad. That night, he had a dream. He dreamt that he was talking face to face with GOd. He had a little chat with God about anything – from poverty to his mother’s cancer. He asked HIM why is it noone has ever found a cure for it. God looked into his eyes and said, ‘I already sent the person who’ll find it, but you just killed him.’

    Bottom line is: You are not going to be here if your mother chose to abort you. Think about it. 🙂

  20. hi jah. salamat sa comment mo. i respect your opinion pero di pareho ang paniniwala natin.

    ang dami ko na kasing napuntahang mga probinsya sa pilipinas. marami na akong nakitang kahirapan ng mga batang isinilang ng walang kinabukasan. marami na rin akong nakitang mga kababaihan na naging ina na wala sa kanilang kagustuhan.

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